New Year’s comes twice in our house. There is the calendar new year, celebrated on Jan. 1; then comes the next new year, aka seolnal, lunar new year, or Korean New Year.
Since most Americans think of this holiday as “Chinese” new year, it’s hard to find books that show the Korean celebration of seolnal. So finding This Next New Year by Janet Wong was an exciting day for me. (Sounds pathetic, but hey, I love books!)
In this book, the main character is Chinese-Korean American and he tells all about how his family, and the family of his friends, celebrate the lunar new year. Those celebrations include Korean new year’s soup, cleaning the house, righting wrongs, and being especially good that day.
The illustrations by Yangsook Choi are beautiful and fun, and help convey the story in a wonderful way. This one is a must-read with the holiday coming up, and a keeper for families who incorporate lunar new year traditions into their families.